Last night, I was browsing through Thimphu Confession Page on Facebook and I was very sad to find so many people sharing their painful experiences of being the innocent victims of domestic violence and broken families. Some of the stories even brought tears to my eyes. I had not realized that the hostility between the separated parents could go even beyond their boundaries to torture their children. I have copied two stories testifying how painful it is to be deprived of the opportunity to grow up with both the parents and siblings.
This is what a girl currently studying in a college has to share:
“My parents divorced wen I was studying in sixth standard. As they prepared to divide their lines, I and my brother were to be divided among them. I had wanted to live wit my mother although I knew her extramarital affair was the main reason for their separation, but how she forced me to leave with my father still makes me wonder why she chose me, and not my brother. In a flash of seconds, my small and happy family of four members broke into two. My dad then sent me to a boarding school to continue my studies. I was never happy in the school. My dad came to see me only once in two to three months and with limited access to mobile phone facilities, I was literarily cut off from my so-called family. Whenever he visited me, all he had to tell me was not to go to see my mom. Today, I am studying in one of the colleges where I am seen as a strong girl who is looked up as a reliable leader by fellow-students. But deep in my heart, I am still struggling with my emotions. I still often break down thinking about my poor mom. I have been longing to see her for thirteen years now, yet my dad does not want me to get closer to her. I think he is more concerned about my relationship with my mom than my academic studies. Recently I was very happy to get a chance to talk with one of my mom’s sisters but unfortunately somebody had informed my dad about this. He warned me that if I try to see my mom, I would not get any benefit. Those words still ring in my head. Looking back to my life’s journey, no one seems to b happy wit whatever little success I have achieved so far. My dad doesn’t care… My mom isn’t there… I have cried almost all my tears out now trying to sort out things that have ruined my life. When I meet my mom someday, I want to ask her if I was not her child. I also want to ask my dad what curse will I have to go through if I ever meet my mom. I am just wondering how long should I miss my mom.”
Another 26-year-old girl has this story:
“I come from a broken family. My parents got divorced when I was just 6-years-old studying in class PP and now I am twenty-six years old. I was brought up by my father as he took charge of me and my other siblings. Yet we never blamed our mother because she was a victim of domestic violence and I firmly believe that anybody would leave a violent partner. Though I was raised by my single father, I had a beautiful life because however bad he was as a husband to my mother, he was a great daddy. He never denied his responsibilities as a father and our mother did not neglect us either. She would always call us and make sure things were perfect with us. In fact I feel I am the luckiest to have very supportive parents though I did not get the chance to see my loving parents together sharing love for each other unlike my friends, perhaps that’s why I am still single.
When I was in my college, I lavishly enjoyed my life as both my parents used to send me pocket money, and my friends would envy my bank balance.
But then what people do not know is my situation between two parents who love me so much. My mom wanted me to hate dad and vice versa.
Now I am a successful working woman. I earn pretty good and can proudly say that I am independent. But then deep down inside me, I am dying everyday because I always have to choose one parent at a time when they visit; hurting one of them ultimately is making me seem ugly and worst. It hurts to the extend that I can’t be there for them at the same time. My point here is, parents are parents and we children love them equally regardless of their issues. I see people trying to instill hatred in the child for the other parent. Please don’t do that, because in the eyes of a child, both the parents are special. In fact don’t get divorced only, try to talk the issues and work it out together. And if you feel that your fate (Namkoe) is getting over (the lame excuse made by separated couples) ….remember all… old good days, the sacrifices made, the love and everything beautiful moment shared and refresh your love again and again and again. Let’s work it out for innocent children who are the outcome of love that you shared. Do not let them suffer the agony of your separation.
My humble request from the child who has been hurt and is still being hurt.”
Likewise, many youth today have heart-wrenching stories to share. It’s really painful to imagine the kind of ordeal innocent children have to go through as a result of their parents’ decision. So in order to avoid divorces and to save the children from traumatic childhood experiences of having to grow up with single parents, marriages have to be carefully planned. In Bhutan marriages are a cheaper affair and hence, it does not take people to think twice before deciding to marry. In the Lhotsham community, I feel the divorce cases are comparatively rare most probably because marriage is a costly affair and carries more value. Not everybody can afford to marry frequently as it involves huge expenses and as a result, I think people take responsibility for their decision. But in other communities, it is very cheaper and perhaps because of this, people take it casually and make the decisions easily. Anyway, the above two stories are a serious call for us the parents to stay faithful to our partners and always create a safe and healthy environment for our children to grow up positively. I am just wondering how many parents while processing for divorce actually realize that their children are going to pay the price for their separation. If marriages are truly made in heaven as people say, we should not be seeing such a sacred union of two precious souls breaking apart so easily. May the Goddess of Love bless all the parents and their children with everlasting harmony and happiness.